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Orange Line extension opens with free rides

June 30, 2012 |  9:35 am

The Orange Line extension, a four-mile addition to the San Fernando Valley busway, officially opened Saturday with free rides for passengers from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Orange Line is a popular 14-mile east-west route from North Hollywood to Warner Center. The north-south extension connects the Canoga station to the Chatsworth Metrolink station, allowing passengers a one-seat ride from Chatsworth to North Hollywood, where they can catch the Red Line subway.

“With the opening of this new segment, the northwest San Fernando Valley will now be served by this very popular mass transit line,” Los Angeles County Supervisor and Metropolitan Transit Authority board member Zev Yaroslavsky said in a prepared statement.

The Orange Line is an example of bus rapid transit that runs on a dedicated busway and has been likened to a train on wheels, though it was built at a fraction of the price of a light-rail line.

Officials said the new extension provides a vital link in connections between Metrolink and Amtrak trains arriving in Chatsworth and North Hollywood.

“The Orange Line Extension is a project that improves L.A.’s transportation system by connecting different modes of public transportation to entertainment venues and employment centers,” Richard Katz, Metrolink board chairman and an MTA board member, said in the release.

“Metrolink customers will now have a direct connection from the Chatsworth station to the Warner Center, a major employment and retail shopping destination in the San Fernando Valley and can take advantage of the Metro Orange Line connection at no additional cost with their Metrolink ticket,” Katz said.

Rides will also be free on Sunday.


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-- Ari Bloomekatz